Match Reports, 2003-04
ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH (2) 2
ST HELENS TOWN YOUTH (1) 2
NWYA Premier Division Match
played at Wythenshawe Town FC
on Sunday, 24 August, 2003.
ALTRINCHAM YOUTH (All red): 1. Will ALLMAN, 2. Adam DOUTHWAITE, 3. Matt TOOTH, 4. Alex FROST (capt.), 5. Josh COLLINS, 6. Kelvin LUGSDEN, 7. Lewis CHALMERS, 8. David NEVILLE, 9. Kieran LUGSDEN, 10. Stephen LUNT, 11. Stevie TAYLOR. Subs: 14. Stuart COOK, 15. Michael BAILEY, 18. Clint WALKER (gk).
ST HELENS YOUTH: 1. SHORT, 2. LEIGH, 3. JONES, 4. PRIESTLEY, 5. KENNY, 6. HUGHES, 7. MELLING, 8. LEES, 9. CASTLEY, 10. EDWARDS, 11. ELIAS. Subs: 12. KNIGHT, 14. DEAN, 15. JOHNSON, 16. MCGUIRE, 17. KENDRIE.
Altrincham got off to a dream start with a goal in the first minute which came when Kieran Lugsden got on the end of a ball forward, held off a challenge and rolled the ball past the stranded goalkeeper. Altrincham went on to have the better of the opening stages but were pegged back when a through ball up the centre bounced over Josh Collins and left Edwards one-on-one with Will Allman. He made no mistake as he lobbed the Alty keeper (9 mins). Alty replied with Lunt's cross from the right which Taylor volleyed over the bar (11 mins). Lees then got in a good shot which Allman held at the second attempt (13 mins) but after a series of minor free-kicks, the next chance came when Kieran Lugsden got in a close-range shot which Short in the visitors' goal parried out (20 mins).
From a move started by Frost, a cross came in from the left which Taylor headed narrowly over (25 mins). The ref then ordered a drink stop on what was a sweltering afternoon of full sunshine. Indeed, the referee was having an excellent match, making all his decisions clear and talking to many of the players on first-name terms. Play was now fairly balanced but Taylor was looking menacing on the left for Alty whilst Neville always seemed to have time on the ball in central midfield alongside Chalmers, who also had a good game. The Alty defence was also looking fairly safe and both Tooth and Douthwaite were able to make intermittent forays up their respective wings.
After this break Alty started to press forward more with Kelvin Lugsden almost getting on the end of a quickly taken free-kick (30 mins). Frost then cleared up an attack and soon Alty won a corner following a free-kick taken by Neville which the keeper saved well, tipping the ball out behind his goal. The corner was taken short, on the right, and from Kieran Lugsden's cross, Chalmers's header struck the keeper's left upright (34 mins). Soon afterwards an alert interception by Lunt came to nothing. Then a St Helens free-kick awarded against Collins saw the ball whipped in from the right and strike Frost before Allman made a good reaction save (40 mins). Alty continued to press as the interval approached and Lunt and Taylor almost got in a shot from Chalmers's pass. Chalmers soon played in Lunt again, who beat his marker, but Steve dragged his shot just wide from 20 yards (43 mins). But just as the break loomed, Kieran Lugsden latched onto the ball to the left-centre of goal and found the net with a well judged flick of the outside of his boot to restore Alty's lead (45 mins).
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH 2 ST HELENS TOWN YOUTH 1|
St Helens started the second half well and went close from a free header in the opening minute. A corner soon followed for them, following which Melling shot narrowly over the bar (49 mins). From a speedy counter-attack by Lugsden and Lunt, Kieran poked his shot well over the bar (51 mins). Taylor and Kieran then combined to win a corner, taken by Neville, from which Collins shot narrowly over the bar from the right of goal. Another drinks stop followed (53 mins). Douthwaite cleared up another attack in his usual calm manner as the visitors continued to press. Allman had to save a 25 yard shot from Castley before Kelvin Lugsden shot over the bar at the other end. Neville then surged impressively through three challenges in the centre of the pitch before shooting over the bar from 20 yards (60 mins).
Alty continued to play on the counter-attack as St Helens maintained their forward movements and from one of these breaks, Kieran Lugsden won a corner from which Neville's shot was blocked (66 mins). St Helens's keeper then made a poor clearance which found Lunt in space some 35 yards out. Rather than advance on goal, Steve tried a lob from distance which missed the target (67 mins). Another drink break preceded another Alty corner. Then St Helens replaced Lees by McGuire (73 mins). Each side then won a corner apiece before Cook replaced the limping Taylor for Altrincham (79 mins). Cook made an immediate impact, winning a corner on the right. Cook took the kick and Lunt rose well but headed over the bar (80 mins). Michael Bailey now came on for Neville in midfield (82 mins). Just as Alty looked to be heading for a win, a ball forward found Castley who lobbed Allman to make it 2-2 (84 mins). Altrincham almost snatched a late winner when a fine shot from Cook hot the keeper's right upright (87 mins), then Tooth made an interception but his resulting shot went wide (88 mins). Next, Frost's free-kick saw Kelvin Lugsden head over the bar. Though two late Alty corners followed, Alty could not find a winning goal.
Although Alty will be disappointed to have dropped points after taking such an early lead, a draw was probably a fair result. Alty had more chances but St Helens applied a lot of second-half pressure to earn their point.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM FC YOUTH 2 ST HELENS TOWN YOUTH 2|